Norway, the name alone raises a lot of interest. For sure a very amazing and mesmerizing country, with so much nature and few people. With untamed nature and the fjords, the glaciers, the rough landscapes. Very tempting to offer a tour there. But we also like to explain a bit about what it is like to go cycling there!
First of all: this is not a typical bike tour like we offer normally. The region we visit certainly offers nice rides, but we will not be on designated cycle paths a lot. Most of the time, we cycle on quiet country roads, and cars are around occasionally. We also go through some tunnels, where we need our light. Those tunnels are very quiet though. The road is never flat; always some ups and downs. This trip will have five days of cycling, and we have put a lot of emphasis on the touristic highlights of the region. So although we will not cycle there, we include Bergen and Flam and end at the top of the Flam Bahn in a lovely Mountain Inn. Oh, and some lovely cruising through very special narrow fjords as well! For sure a very special way and much better than joining the super big cruise ships that visit some ports.
So we look upon this offer as a combination of a cycle trip and a touristic trip, to get the most out of our nine days.
Another big difference is the lack of nice restaurants to have a break. Norway does not have many local cafes, bars or restaurants. At least not outside of the bigger tourist places like Bergen and Flam. So we carry along our picnic and try to find a toilet here and there. So no big cakes, cappuccinos and the like while we are cycling. It is quiet, unique and peaceful.
The hotels are a collection of grand hotels, like the one in Balestrand (Kviknes) or the one in Bergen, the Havnekontoret (former Harbour House), boutique hotels like the Fjaerland hotel and touristic basic hotels like the Blix Hotel in Vic. All your dinners are included, because most of the time, it is the only option there is to have dinner, the meals are all good, and some are even outstanding!
Norway is very expensive, and loving a good glass of wine will cost. We have not included a drink with the dinners, except for dinner in the first week at the Walaker Hotel, which we had to book.
Is this the best cycle trip we offer? No, to be clear, if you judge it on cycling, we have better options. But it is such a great area to go to, and isn’t it much nicer than being on a big cruise ship with limited “shore excursions” or on a touring car? So IF you are determined to visit Norway, we think we offer a great way to do so!
The weather is the final thing you need to be aware of. It can be anything. Literally. For a whole week or a whole day. Cold, rain, drizzle, wind…..it can happen and affect the whole experience,
We strongly advise considering combining this trip with another week. One of the suggestions we are investigating is to go on a cruise from Kirkenes, in the far north of Norway, along the coast, with Havila tours. You can book excursions, to go and visit highlights and return to another port. The ship visits loads of ports. It is definitely on our own TO-DO list!
This Havila company is competing with the Hurtigruten company, which has been offering cruises along all coast ports as a postal ship for decades. Havila has built ships, especially for this route. You could sail from Bergen to Kirkenes (the furthest point in the north, next to the Russian border). And fly home from there. Or you fly into Kirkenes and start sailing to Bergen from there. If you like to know more, let us know!
We are talking with the company to get reservations and prices.Read more
Arriving in Bergen
Bergen is one of Norway’s most visited cities. The historic centre is close to the harbour, where nowadays the cruise ships dock at a daily pace. We will stay in the hotel in the former harbour house, so some history here! In the afternoon we will have a guided walk through the old centre called Bryggen. After that a nice dinner at a local restaurant awaits us!
Ferry to Vic, first ride on the Sylvringen 6 k/4 miles
We catch the early fast ferry to Vic, which will go slow at the start where it finds its way through the islands close to Bergen. It enters the Sognefjord, will dock sometimes for passengers and arrives in Vic before lunchtime. The hotel will not yet be ready for us, but we will get our bikes there and we will go for a not too long site seeing cycling trip. It will show us the highlights of this old village.
After a local stop for a taste of some local products, we will check in at the hotel and have dinner together
Vic - Arnafjord -Vic 52 km/32 miles
Today we will cycle along the fjord to Arnafjord, a small settlement at the end of a road. Once a fishermen’s village, now more or less mainly local holiday homes. It is maybe a bit much for you because there are some steep parts halfway. But we will show you how to cut it short if you feel like it. There is a nice site close to a shop/bar where we can rest—a peaceful and tranquil ride, with only local cars.
Vic - Dragsvik - (Menes)- Balestrand 22 km/14 miles to 62 km/38 miles
Today we cycle along the fjord in the direction of Dragsvk, at 12 k, where we can enjoy this little fruit-growing village. The strawberries might be for sale already. We have a stop at the statue of Fridtjof and tell you why there is such a giant statue in a small village and who he is. Well, he is not a historical figure, he is a fictional person.
We can either have a break here or have a drink/some food on the ferry, which offers restrooms as well.
Then, our ways may split! We have the option to cycle to Balestrand (10 k) or to do a long extra ride to Menes and back to Balestrand (50 k).
On the long trip, we need the same road back, so you can also cycle halfway and cut the tour shorter.
Our hotel tonight is a very famous and historic hotel. The main rooms are in the comfortable “modern” built part, dining takes place in a beautiful big dining room in the main building. Tourism here started in the late 1800s already! It was once a very popular place where the Emperor of Germany visited every year and brought his entourage along.
Balestrand to Fjaerland, cycling to a glacier 20 km/13 miles
In the morning we can enjoy some time on our own. At 12 we start on the ferry to Fjaerland. The Fjaerland Fjord is beautiful to sail through. There is only the waterway to get there, and until relatively recently this was the only way to get to the little hamlet.
Nowadays there are tunnels and roads to get there, but it is still a very quiet village. We stay at again a historic place where our host will tell you all about the village, its history and the hotel.
But before we get to the hotel, we first start cycling after we arrive with the ferry. We will first cycle past the glacier museum and go the nearest glacier. Don’t expect too much here, the glaciers have been big in the past, but now you can only see a glimpse of the glacier and a little part of eternal snow below.
For a real impression of the mighty glaciers that are to be found much higher, we will cycle back to the museum and look at the newest movie that was made of it. It is quite a bombastic movie, the sound is a bit too much, but it is very impressive and shows you the beauty of nature on a very big screen.
After a short rest in the cafeteria we will cycle back to the hotel, which is just a short ride. Fjaerland is a (second hand) book village, and you might find a book or two in your room! It is really nice to sit in the lounge of this quaint hotel
From Fjaerland to Solvorn 40 km / 24 miles
Today we need a bit of help! We will get a transfer to the other side of a tunnel, because we simply cannot cycle through it. We start riding and the first part is a lovely downhill. Again a very tranquil area, we cycle far from the main road, just on the country roads.
We will be in Sogndal for lunch on your own. There are a few suggestions where to go, there is a nice one at the harbor.
Our cyclepath is close to the water here and shows you the wooden houses standing on poles.
Tonights hotel is different on the two trips. The first week we stay at hotel Walaker in Solvorn, the second week we will be at Marifjorda in hotel Toervis.
We will offer a shuttle in case you do not like to drive on a more busy road.
From Solvorn to Skjolden 39 km/ 24 miles + extra 16 km / 10 miles
After this day you will probably say we saved the best for last.
Today we cross the fjord one more time with our bikes, to cycle to the stave church of Urnes. We will have a guided trip and enjoy a short break afterwards if the cafe is open by then.
Rest assured, today there will be another nice stop at a local cafe. The ride along the fjord is beautiful. The huge waterfall is worth a walk to, here we will stop for lunch. There is a nice cafe, with indoor or outdoor seating. They call this the romantic road, well, it is certainly a nice road
Are you in for the very last part of cycling? From the hotel, we would like to take you to the border of a national park, along waterfalls, beautiful sheds, houses, and on the way back a lovely view of the very end of the Sognefjord.
Our sight-seeing day! Ferry from Kaupanger, bus to Flam, train to Myrdall
Our bicycles will stay behind, we will have an early transfer to the ferry of Kaupanger, which will take us to the village of Gudvangen. The ferry takes us through the Naeroyfjord, along, again, beautiful waterfalls. Actually, the sail itself is a tourist attraction.
The bus takes us to Flamm. Well, be prepared: we are now definitely in a touristic place. It might be quite a shock after the tranquil trip we had so far. This place is one big tourist village, with all you expect: loads of shops for souvenirs, loads of food and drink.
Well, we will leave soon, just here for the ride up! Like most of the other tourists! From here we will need our luggage to take this up to the mountain hotel we are staying at. There is no road going there! The train ride is beautiful and you will enjoy the views. At the top, we leave one stop before the train turns around, at Vatnahalsen. We will settle in at this cosy hotel. By the time the train stops riding at the end of the afternoon, you will enjoy the quietness once more. We will have our farewell dinner at the hotel.
Departure from Myrdall
In the morning we will leave with the first train, at around 10 am, and go to Myrdal in about 6 minutes. From Myrdal there are two options: one train goes to Bergen, the other goes to Oslo. Both are rides of multiple hours, the train has a resto wagon, and you can book reserved seats. Both rides are also very scenic and many tourists just book them for that reason. So you are still on a sightseeing trip!
The Havne Kantoret in Bergen, first night.
The kick-off of the trip takes place in the historic Clarion Havne Kantoret Hotel in Bergen. This former Harbour House has been reconverted into a splendid hotel, with a great cosy look and feel.
Hotel Blix in Vic
We spend two nights here, it offers a good stay, at a modest building
Kviknes Hotel in Balestrand
Balestrand is the oldest tourist village, with an amazing history. German Royalty visited it! Our rooms will be in the extension build in the later years. We will enjoy the historic building, as it offers a bar, lounge, dining and breakfast room.
Do you like boutique hotels? We do! This little gem is just about big enough for our group and has a very homely feel. Your room might have shelves and books! We are in the book village!
We were fortunate to be able to book a room here. It is a highly sought-after hotel, for it offers a stunning location and a very, very nice boutique hotel with a marvellous dinner, including wines, that we booked as well.
Let’s have a gorgeous stay here at this top-notch location.
A look from the garden, we will take the ferry the next day to get to Urnes and the Romantic Road.
At the end of the fjord, we will stay at this fantastic hotel, with views over the fjord. And enjoy fine dining tonight, as this hotel has a very exquisite dinner prepared for us
This mountain lodge hotel is busy during the day but very quiet at night. You can have lovely walks from the hotel, or for the more adventurous ones: you can book an additional night and experience the Zipline or hire a bike and cycle down to Flam. Not for the fainthearted, for sure, but a trilling experience.
For us, it will be the last stay with the group, and the next morning you can join the train to Myrdallen, where you have connections to Oslo or Bergen. The additional excellent train ride will be the cherry on the cake of this trip. Tickets can be booked including seat reservations.
8 nights on hotels, in Bergen, Vic (2x), Balestrand, Fjaerland, Solvorn or Marifjorda, Skolden and Vatnahalsen
5 Ferries : Bergen – Vic, Vic-Dragvik, Balestrand-Fjaerland, Solvorn-Urnes, Kaupanger-Gudvangen
All dinners ! First week: Walaker wine menu included.
4 x lunch on the 6 riding days
5 and 1/2 days of guided cycling
Bus to Flam
Flambahn to Vatnahalsen
Norwegian guide Merete
Shuttles to Solvorn or Marifjorda when needed
Shuttle to Kaupanger
Shuttle from Fjaerland to Sogndalen
Entrance to the Glacier Museum at Fjaerland
Guided walking tour in Bergen
Tour manager first week 2022: Lenny, owner of BikePlanet Tours
Bike rent: a regular bike is included.
E-bike: 2o0 euros, only possible on reservation!
Single surplus: 680 euro
Bike info: the regular bike:
SCOTT Sub Cross 45 Men/Woman
Frame – SUB Cross aluminium frame
Fork – Suntour NEX-HLO lockable damping fork with 63 mm suspension
Gir – Shimano Alivio 27
Brakes – Tektro hydraulic disc brakes
Steering voice – Syncros
Rims – Syncros X – 39 disc
Size: Small – Xtra large
E-bikes differ: but all are equipped with a 3 or 4-level support choice, eight gears, and a battery that will last the whole day and longer.